21st Century Pooter. Sort Of.
The bad news is that last night saw the last episode of the current series of Shameless. The good news is that there will be a third series. So we have new series of both Shameless and Green Wing to look forward to next year. A good reason to keep body and soul together or else be reincarnated as a flat screen television with Dolby stereo.
Amazingly, last night's episode had a parallel with The Diary of a Nobody, the book from which I take my nom de plume. Like Charles Pooter, Frank Gallaher and his wife went to the Mayor's Ball. Frank stole the raffle ticket which got him the invite from a lady whose husband had just been decapitated by a police van. When his son protested at this deception, Frank said "It's for a couple. What's she going to do? Take his head?"
Very sick and very funny.
Pooter's evening at London's Mansion House was marred by he and Carrie falling over on the dance floor. Frank's behaviour at the Mayor's Party in Manchester was far more outrageous. We know this because the Mayor arranged for a car to take them home. "Was it a limousine?" someone asked. "No, it was a police car."
There were several unbleeped c**ts* in this episode. Well done, Channel 4. Hope this reflects a change of policy. I thought they were likely to get more complaints about a small dog being tied in a sack and thrown in the canal. However, the dog later turned up in the pub, shook the water from its coat and seemed to be asking what the next game was.
Tourette's sufferer Marty has had a bigger role in this series and I'd like to see Jack Deam get a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA for it. It was a bit risky making this apalling condition a subject of humour but people with Tourette's are not all hostile to it. One person on a message board said it almost made having Tourette's seem cool and it has probably increased understanding of the condition. There was an hilarious episode where Marty was taught to substitute innocuous expressions in his outbursts, such as "Spongecake!" instead of "Spunkface!" Fortunately for viewers this didn't work for very long.
Last night's final episode was written by the series' creator Paul Abbott. Only he would have dared to end it with the cast singing Jerusalem (a karaoke version) and get away with it. On paper, the plot was as bonkers as most Abbott plots but nobody can make you suspend disbelief like he can. I'm going to miss those Tuesday night rollercoaster rides through the Chatsworth Estate. Nothing else on television moves at such a pace.
*I've used asterisks only to avoid being blocked by firewalls. And also possibly parental controls, since some parents still insist on treating children like children.
The Invaluable Insights of the Vox Pop
Heard on Radio 4:
Interviewer: Have you ever asked for a pay rise?
Man In Street: Yes
Interviewer: And why did you ask for a pay rise?
Man In Street: Because I thought I was underpaid.